A CHARMOUTH-based business has been shortlisted in a national awards scheme.

Lyme Bay BSL has been named as one of four contenders in the centre of the year category at the 2014 Signature Annual Awards.

The awards honour individuals, organisations and community groups that are striving to break down the barriers of communication between deaf and hearing people.

Lyme Bay BSL has been offering Signature qualifications in BSL since 2008.

A relatively small centre, it is renowned for its personal touch and close relationships with learners and the wider South West deaf community.

The centre is run by director Kate Fowler, who is profoundly deaf herself.

Kate said: “We are delighted to have made the shortlist for this award – it’s a great feeling to be acknowledged for the work we do to assist learners and make a positive difference in the local community.”

Jim Edwards, Signature chief executive, said: “We are pleased to be recognising Lyme Bay BSL in the Centre of the Year category at this year’s awards.

“The centre has a fantastic reputation and receives impressive feedback from learners.

“It has also succeeded in forging strong connections with local deaf and hearing communities and organisations, and its commitment to ensuring that all students are supported equally is commendable.”

Lyme Bay BSL will join shortlisted entrants in categories such as Organisational Achievement, Teacher of the Year, Learner of the Year, Young Learner of the Year, Community Spirit and Communication Professional of the Year.

The winner will be announced at a prestigious award ceremony at Durham Cathedral this October.

For more information, please visit signature.org.uk/awards/